Quartz OA has developed a functional MVP to enable donations for the Open Access (OA) ecosystem. The software incorporates Interledger and Web monetization technologies to existing donation and payment systems. This way, we enable donations for journals while encouraging our users to adopt Web-Monetization tools for early adopters. The software allows our community to receive donations using web monetization and traditional Paypal donations.
Additionally, we are designing developing and testing the following software:
- A system of rewards for peer reviewers, including blockchain-based badges and currencies.
- Our browser extension: customizing and branding the existing Coil web-monetization extension.
Currently, our main struggle is to integrate our tokens and blockchain-based software with the existing tools (e.g. the browser extension) and networks (e.g. Interledger main network).
Our goals include 1) the development of a blockchain-based system of rewards for the OA ecosystem and 2) the development of a web-monetization browser extension.
OA Rewards: We have developed a functional MVP to make donations to OA initiatives, with:
- Web monetization integration: Interledger addresses are included in the application to enable micro-donations.
- Traditional payment methods such as Paypal and credit card payments
- Integrated Social experience: sharing donations on twitter; joining Quartz Open Access community, etc.
Web Monetization Extension: We are developing a custom web monetization browser extension (currently in test networks), with the following characteristics:
At this stage, our project aimed to have both goals already deployed. We have made considerable progress in both goals. However, the software is still using testing infrastructure and will require more development efforts.
Our project has made significant efforts in design, software development, business strategy and research, community bootstrapping, and communication. As a result, we have a well-positioned project with a better understanding of the market, a tested minimum viable product (MVP), and a clear strategy. These outcomes are summarized below:
The main design outcomes are:
- Creation of our Graphic identity
- Product, UX & UI Design.
We have developed a MVP to support the sustainability of OA initiatives, with the following characteristics:
- Web Monetization and Interledger Integration
- Standard payment options
- Social interactions
- Own token
- Own browser extension
The software is however still in development, and needs to be properly deployed in production environments.
Our efforts also include the establishment of a community of early adopters and partners. The main activities done in this regard are:
- Research and collect information about relevant Organizations such as OA communities, OA Journals and Conferences, Universities and other institutions, technology partners and competitors.
- Develop our community canvas.
- Community engagement (see Communication section below)
- Community bootstrapping plan: including crowdfunding and marketing campaigns, and engagement activities, aiming to establish a platform cooperative for the project.
Our business research aimed to gain a better understanding of the field and the market, and helped us define our business strategy to position our project as a sustainable economic model for OA publishing. Our main research efforts in include:
- Researching OA sustainability and economic models.
- Researching donation platforms in other fields.
- Researching the governance of platform cooperativism and other broad ownership organizations.
Additionally, we have developed a business development plan based in our Unique Value proposition, our key partnerships, and a roadmap aligned with our community building and communication efforts.
- Contributed to conferences and forums, such as the Open Access Week, the 2nd Basel Sustainable Publishing Forum, or the Joint Roadmap for Open Science Tools 2020 Conference
- Organized focus groups on topics such as fair rewards for peer reviewers, or payments for OA journals and authors.
- Published a white paper explaining the project and its roadmap.
- And even being part of winning initiatives such as the ASAPBio sprint project “Building capacity for preprint peer review and curation in Africa” by our partners AfricArxiv and Trainer Center in Communication.
Our communication and marketing efforts will increase once we have a ready to use product. We will welcome a Marketing intern to help us with these efforts as explained in What’s Next section.
Our main goal to finish our Grant for the Web project is to deploy our MVP to serve our nascent community. For that, our concrete objectives are:
- Finish the development and deployment of the Rewards for OA initiatives using web monetization and traditional payments.
- Deploy functional donation widget
- Deploy functional browser extension
- Bootstrap our community of early adopters:
- Launch crowdfunding campaigns for OA initiatives and get matching contributions from partner institutions.
- Design and launch marketing campaign for 1) researchers, 2) OA Initiatives and 3) Institutions.
Complementing our current team, we will incorporate three interns from Computer Engineering, and from Marketing degrees. This additional support will speed up the development and marketing efforts, which are much needed for the success of the project.
We would love to receive support four our development and community bootstraping efforts.
Our main struggles are currently with the integration and deep understanding of interledger technology. Thus we would really benefit from some mentoring with experience developers in the field, concretely to:
- Understand the role of interledger connectors, and to what extent we could deploy in the main network one of these connectors to bring our token to the existing Interleger ecosystem.
- Deploying our own browser extension: To serve our community as a web monetization provider, we need help providing a server implementation of Coil service (is this code open and available?). Additionally, we need support to connect our extension to the BTP interface of our Interledger node, as we have been unable to create such connections in the testing networks and infrastructure.
We are bootstrapping our community, which aims to bring a new sustainable OA model based in web monetization technology. We welcome any introduction to interested actors in the OA Ecosystem, such as researchers, journals, universities, libraries, associations, etc. Write us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or help us share twitter, website and newsletter.